Important Changes to the 2018 ABDA Awards

Every year, the ABDA committee get a variety of queries/requests/suggestions surrounding the awards and what could be improved or changed, from both members and non-members. There’s a significant amount of thought and discussion that takes place with each proposal that’s put forward, so in 2018 we’ve decided to roll out some of these changes that have been deemed a positive step forward towards more inclusive and balanced awards.

Cover vs Book

You’ll notice that this year, some categories are solely judged by the cover design (fiction, non-fiction, etc.) whereas others that require both the cover and internal pages to be considered are judged on the entirety of the object. This change aims to not only reduce the time it takes to scan and upload internal text pages laid out by someone other than the cover designer, but also to solidify what elements exactly are being taken into consideration and judged in each category.

Emerging Designer of the Year

Two big changes in this category, the first being the obvious change from ‘Young’ to ‘Emerging’. With this change we hope to open it up to a much wider subset of emerging book-design professionals who will no longer be restricted by an age limit, but only by the period that they have worked in book design specifically. To reflect ABDA’s important role as an organisation by members, for members, as well as a champion of young designers entering the field, we’ve also attached a money prize of $500 to this award that can be used for a number of things from courses to workshops to travel for internships. We hope to grow this award, and prize, into the future through the assistance of our generous sponsors.

Overseas Designers

2018 also marks the first time that designers from overseas can enter the ABDA Awards, provided their submissions meet the requirements of being a design that was specifically commissioned by an Australian publishing house (or the Australian office of a multi-national) for initial use in the Australian local market. We do get regular requests from Australian publishers wanting to enter designs by New Zealand, UK and US designers (and vice versa from the designers themselves) and since similar overseas awards do allow Australian designers to be nominated (and win) awards for book design we’ve decided to do the same in the spirit of inclusiveness, and growing our membership and the Awards profile abroad.

We’d love to hear your feedback on these changes, both pre and post the 2018 awards, as it is a moveable feast and we’re always looking to improve where we can.

Thanks again and happy entering!